Ways to Pray

First: Open Yourself to God

As you begin your time of prayer, turn off your phone, the television and any other distractions that may keep you from fully entering this time of prayer. Take several deep breaths to quiet your mind and heart, and spend some moments in quiet awareness in the presence of Jesus. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you as you reflect on God’s Word.

Posture during Prayer

We all know how powerful body language can be. When we are in the presence of another person his/her body language can communicate a great deal to us. The same is true in our prayer lives. Sitting with feet on ground and hands open, wrapping oneself in a prayer shawl, curling into a comfortable corner, kneeling, standing grounded, walking, lifting one’s hands in prayer. Take time to pay attention to how your posture influences your prayer and find a posture that best suits your prayer for a particular moment.

Each of the tabs below focuses on a different way to pray.

Lectio Divina

Beliefnet.com describes Lectio Divina as “a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures. Very often our concerns, our relationships, our hopes and our aspirations naturally intertwine with our meditations on the Scriptures. We can attend ‘with the ear of our hearts’ to our own memories, listening for God's presence in the events of our lives … Our own personal story becomes salvation history.”

Lectio Divina is comprised of four steps:

  1. Lectio – a slow reflective reading of a scripture passage
  2. Meditatio – meditation on the Word
  3. Contemplatio – contemplation – just being in God’s presence, and
  4. Oratio – prayer – one’s personal response to God.

The following steps are one way to approach Lectio Divina:

  1. Read the scripture passage slowly, notice what one word attracts your attention and sit quietly with that for a bit.
  2. Read the scripture passage slowly again and notice what phrase speaks to you. It may or may not be connected to the initial word that you noticed. Again, sit quietly with this for a brief time.
  3. Read the scripture passage slowly for a third time and spend time in contemplation. Listen for what God is saying to you in this passage.
  4. Read the scripture passage slowly one last time and consider your personal response to God in light of this time of prayer.

Click here for more information about Lectio Divina.

Download and print a pdf copy of Ways to Pray

- Prayer Resources compiled by Sister Stephanie Spandl, SSND